Punk-rock has been seen as a sanctuary since its initial conception back in the mid-seventies with the likes of The Ramones, The Clash and heavier acts like Black Flag offering a strong sense of feeling and belonging to their audience members. These bands also went on to inspire many musicians who are now doing just the same for younger generation’s: Frank Iero among them and, if there’s one thing that could be taken away from seeing Frank Iero and the Patience perform their hearts and souls out on the Brighton date of their UK tour it’s that punk rock truly isn’t dead.
Dutch trio Paceshifters (7/10) opened the night with a frantic blend of alternative rock and grunge that on multiple occasions bore a resemblance to early Coheed and Cambria material. A combination of riff heavy, muddy guitar driven tunes and some lighter pop-rock songs allowed Paceshifters to display a wide variety of musicality across their short 20-minute set. Some groovy drum beats and spot-on vocal harmonies made for an enticing start to the evening and, with a sing-a-long powered rendition of latest single ‘Cut N Run’ to close out their performance seemed to only leave the crowd wanting more.
The Homeless Gospel Choir (8.5/10) made for a dynamic shift as the only acoustic act on the line-up. Derek Zanetti has released four albums under the moniker ‘The Homeless Gospel Choir’ each record focusing heavily on politics and mental health. Zanetti’s set went down a storm as his humour filled lyrics in ‘With God on Our Side’ and ‘Musical Preferences’ sparked laughs, while the vulnerability that seeped through in ‘Untitled’ and ‘Depression’ incited cheers of admiration. Zanetti spoke about acceptance and belonging multiple times, most notably before playing his latest single ‘Normal’ where he harked back to his teenage years when he found belonging in a group of punk-rock friends and live music. ‘Normal’ reiterated the importance and the salvation that can be found in music, and seeing the enthusiasm from the crowd singing along it’s clear that The Homeless Gospel Choir is a place of belonging for many people.
Dave Hause & The Mermaid (8/10) pushed the energy right back up to 10 with a lively 45-minute set that was largely comprised of songs from his last two albums, Devour and Bury Me In Philly. With an excellent group of musicians behind him each song seemed to jump out even more in the live environment. ‘With You’ and ‘The Flinch’ acted as great introductions to the folk-rock singer’s set and got the crowd dancing almost immediately.
Hause’s crowd interaction was a stellar part of his performance, as he made sure to make his way towards the front of crowd and sing with the fans that knew every word. A standout song was ‘Time Will Tell’ that Hause started off alone while the rest of The Mermaid gradually filled out the song until it reached an explosive full-band final chorus. Punk-rock has always been known to focus on politics and Hause was no exception, before kicking into their final song he announced, ‘this song goes out to the president of the United Stated, it’s called ‘Dirty Fucker’ this was then met with an array of middle fingers from the audience and Hause’s encouragement in saying ‘Don’t worry, you can put them up’. ‘Dirty Fucker’ closed out an exceptional performance in a triumphant manner and made it clear that Dave Hause is an act that is incredibly hard to follow.
However, as soon as Frank Iero and the Patience (9/10) took to the stage it was obvious that this night was theirs.
Kicking off their set with Parachutes album opener ‘World Destroyer’ set the tone immediately, while this wasn’t sold out show the energy and enthusiasm from both the band and the crowd certainly made it feel like it was. Iero and the rest of the patience barrelled through song after song making their set one relentless hour.
With a perfectly mixed bag of songs taken from both Stomachaches and Parachutes which allowed for fans both old and new something to enjoy. One of the most noticeable things throughout his performance was Iero’s vocals that seem to have taken leaps and bounds over the past year. While still retaining a raw raspy edge in his voice Iero displayed a lot more clarity and range particularly during the angst-ridden ‘Remedy’ and the anthemic ‘I’m A Mess’. While the first half of set was on the slower side it was more than made up for as the patience hit the halfway point; breaking out a hectic cover of riff-driven The Beatles track ‘Helter Skelter’, followed by the ferocious ‘No Fun Club’, taken from the new EP Keep The Coffins Coming. Despite having to cut a couple of songs due to the show running slightly over-schedule the patience ended the night with a tremendous encore of ‘Joyriding’, led by a thundering rhythm section and a formidable finale with ‘Oceans’.